Arizona has had an extremely high rate of vehicle crashes and deaths associated with drunk driving. Because of this, Arizona officials have come down hard on drunk drivers. The penalties for DUI in Arizona are extreme, but hopefully this will lead to safer roads for the public at large.
So what is illegal in Arizona?
The State of Arizona law prohibits driving if you have an alcohol level of 0.150 or more in your bloodstream. It is also illegal for someone under the age of 21 to drive with ANY alcohol in their system. That means that if you are underage, you cannot drive at all, even if you have only had one drink. You are also not allowed to drive at all if you have any traces of illegal drugs in your body.
How do you know what your blood alcohol level is?
This is a tough question. Your alcohol blood level is dependent on your weight and body fat percentage, so it differs from person to person. You can find charts on the web that give good guidelines as to how much alcohol is in your blood stream. Most guides agree that 1 alcohol unit is equal to 1 beer or 1 3 ounce glass o wine or 1 ounce (a shot) or hard liquor. As a guide, a person that weighs 200 pounds can have approximately 3 alcoholic units before becoming impaired and 4 units before becoming legally drunk. A person that weighs 120 pounds can only have 1 alcoholic unit before becoming impaired, or 2 before becoming legally drunk. Of course this is a guideline only.
What is the penalty for drunken driving in Arizona?
For your first DUI conviction you will have to pay approximately $1,860 in financial penalties. If you are sentenced to jail you will serve a minimum of 24 hours up to 10 days. Your license may be suspended for 90-360 days and the court may order the installation of an ignition interlock device. This is a device that is connected to your ignition. You will only be able to start your car by breathing into it first. It will only work if you have not consumed any alcohol at all. For second or 3rd DUI Offenses, you will be fined much more, with a minimum prison sentence is of 4 months and the potential of your license being suspended for a minimum of a year. The court will also order you to install the ignition interlock device into all your vehicles before you drive again.
Be safe, not sorry.